Why to avoid your dog wearing a mask on Halloween

Pets in Halloween costumes aren’t a new thing, but dressing up your pet on this popular holiday is now more common than ever. It is estimated that between 18 and 25% of canine owners will consider getting a costume for their dog for Halloween 2018. While your furbaby may look adorable in fancy dress, he may not be overly happy. And in fact, putting him in costume could actually be putting his health and wellbeing at risk. 


Here is exactly why you should avoid putting your dog in a mask this Halloween.

Your dog could hurt himself 

Dogs are heavily reliant on their senses for doing things – particularly their hearing and sight. If you put your canine pal in a mask on Halloween, chances are they are going to obstruct at least one of his senses, and this could put him in danger. 


Cover one eye and try and carry out your usual activities? Is it difficult? How about if you half close both eyes? Visual impairment is a major inconvenience, but it can also be downright dangerous for anyone, including your dog. If he can’t see where he is going properly, he could trip over something, misjudge steps, or even walk out into traffic that he can’t see coming. It is a similar story if his hearing is impaired by a mask or headpiece. 


By restricting the uses of his senses, you could be putting the health and even life at risk.  

You might impair his breathing

Have you ever worn a mask that completely covers your nose and mouth? While they usually have small holes for airflow, there is no doubt that your breathing is significantly restricted. The same can be said for your dog. Not only might he find it much harder to breathe, but this could cause his heart rate to increase and his body temperature to elevate. A lack of oxygenated blood around his body could cause him to faint or even suffer a seizure. 


Breathing is a particular problem for certain flat-faced breeds of dog, such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzus, Mastiffs and Chihuahuas. They are classed as brachycephalic, which means that they naturally suffer from respiratory problems due to their short nose. If this breed of dog wears a mask, they are much more likely to suffer from respiratory distress that could actually put their life at risk. 

You may upset him

How would you feel if someone made you wear a mask if you didn’t want to? You wouldn’t be too happy about it that’s for sure. Masks are incredibly restrictive and more than a little uncomfortable. Placing one on your dog for what seems no reason at all to him, could cause him to become quite upset, agitated and even aggressive. 

If you plan on dressing your dog up this Halloween, ensure he feels happy by picking a costume for him that is both comfortable and practical. If you would like further advice on Halloween costumes for dogs, our friendly and reassuring veterinarians in Nashville, TN would be delighted to help you. Please contact us by calling our vet office in Nashville, TN today at 615-645-2100.